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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 19, 2014 at 6:02 AM

Obama’s ocean preserve: Crucial Bering Sea habitat excluded

Our oceans are incredible sources of food and wonderment, and connect us all worldwide. I’m writing in response to the article “Obama Announces Plan for Oceans,” [Nation & World, June 17] which is about the creation of the world’s largest ocean reserve.

The article states the Obama administration is carrying out steps to protect fragile marine life by massively expanding the size of Pacific marine reserves. The plan will double currently protected ocean spaces worldwide, yet the vulnerable Bering Sea canyons are noticeably absent from the newly protected areas.

The Bering Sea provides the U.S. with 50 percent of our seafood. In the green belt zone of the Bering Sea, factory fishing methods reduce structural integrity and diversity of bottom-dwelling species.

Here in Washington, we have been calling on Gov. Jay Inslee to address the lack of protections in the Eastern Bering Sea, which, if enacted, could insulate Seattle’s treasured fisheries from the impacts of habitat destruction and climate change for centuries to come.

I echo this call today to Inslee to follow President Obama’s lead by supporting the creation of new marine reserves in the Bering sea canyons to sustain the biodiversity found in America’s fish basket.

Cheyenne Kallinen-Camelio, Seattle

Comments | More in Environment | Topics: Bering Sea, Cheyenne Kallinen-Camelio, Gov. Jay Inslee

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